Multicat is an equivalent of the famous netcat but designed with streaming and especially RTP in mind.

A short introduction

Multicat is an application that enables you to take any stream you want and restream it. This application takes one input and give one output. The overall diagram might be the following:

Multicat principle

Use cases

Even if Multicat is really simple, it can be very useful to manipulate streams of any kind.


Multicat manipulate unicast and multicast streams without demuxing or consideration on the transported data.

Transform a multicast stream coming from to a unicast one on

multicat @

Grab a unicast stream from and multicast it to

multicat @

Recording a stream

Multicat can be used to record a stream. It only dump the stream on the disk without any processing. However, Multicat create an auxiliary file that contains the timestamp of each packet it receives and dumps. This file can be later used to stream the file at the right speed.

Recording a stream with multicat

multicat @ /record/stream.ts

Multicat will also create /record/stream.aux file.


That's also possible to stream a file previously saved:

Streaming a file with multicat

multicat -p 68 /record/stream.ts
# or for multicast
multicat -p 68 /record/stream.ts @

Getting multicat

As part of the VideoLAN project, Multicat can be found on the Multicat home page.

A Debian package has been created but it's still waiting in the NEW queue for the moment.

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